The Purges That Upended China’s Semiconductor Industry

November 21, 2022 | Geoff Cain

This piece was originally published in American Affairs. Once a technology star, Zhao Weiguo rose fast and fell hard. For the last eight years, Zhao’s semiconductor manufacturer, the Tsinghua Unigroup, had fanfare, ambition, large-scale state backing, and an affiliation with China’s most prestigious institution of higher learn­ing, Tsinghua University. All this made Zhao the face and
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FTX Fiasco Means Coming Consequences for Crypto in Washington DC

November 21, 2022 | Luke Hogg

This piece was originally published in Cointelegraph. On Nov. 11, while the rest of the country was celebrating Veteran’s Day, Sam Bankman-Fried announced that FTX — one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume — had filed for bankruptcy. Lawmakers and pundits quickly latched onto the rapid disintegration of FTX to call for more regulation
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How China Got Our Kids Hooked on ‘Digital Fentanyl’

November 16, 2022 | Geoff Cain

This piece was originally published in Common Sense. The midterm elections of 2022 were many things—a shocker for Republicans, the possible end of Donald Trump, a win for centrist Democrats. Overlooked is the fact that they were also a big turning point for TikTok, the Chinese social-media platform. TikTok is not only the most trafficked news
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The Future of Twitter is Open, or Bust

November 7, 2022 | Richard Reisman

This piece was originally published in Tech Policy Press. Elon Musk owns Twitter. Or rather, whatever is left of it after today’s massive layoffs. It’s hard to see any future for the company at this point, particularly as its twin challenges of content moderation and revenue sustainability are deeply intertwined. As a business, Twitter is facing substantial financial obstacles,
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Elon Musk Doesn’t Understand What He’s Bought

November 4, 2022 | Jon Askonas

This piece was originally published in UnHerd. Elon Musk has promised that Twitter’s lords and peasants system (i.e. verification) will be coming to an end. The new CEO said that verified “bluecheck” users would now be subject to a monthly fee of $8. Discussion of the proposal exploded with (broadly) media-adjacent people saying that the changes would effectively destroy Twitter and (broadly)
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How BIP Bounties Will Supercharge the Bitcoin Network

October 14, 2022 | Ariel Deschapell

This piece was originally published in Bitcoin Magazine. The idea that Bitcoin lacks innovation compared to other cryptocurrencies is pervasive, but is it true? The Bitcoin protocol undergoes significant changes much more slowly than other cryptocurrencies, the latest, of course, being the implementation and activation of Taproot. But this is a feature, not a bug. As the foundation
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‘The Titanium Economy’ Review: Making It in America

October 14, 2022 | Geoff Cain

This piece was originally published in the Wall Street Journal. After many grueling nights designing and building a car in “makeshift tents,” Elon Musk emerged with a prescient lesson for Tesla. “The issue is not about coming up with a car design—it’s absolutely about the production system,” Mr. Musk said in 2019, during the unveiling
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TikTok, You Are Technically Correct, the Worst Kind of Correct

October 11, 2022 | Mike Wacker

This piece was originally published in the Burner Files. In a line from the cartoon Futurama that later became a viral meme, Hermes won a promotion to a grade 37 bureaucrat for uncovering a form that had been incorrectly stamped only four times. The head bureaucrat said, “You are technically correct, the best kind of correct.” When it comes
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This Land is Beijing’s Land

October 11, 2022 | Lars Schönander

This piece was originally published in the American Mind. Foreign ownership of American farmland has raised bipartisan concern from all levels of government, from governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida to senators such as Iowa’s Chuck Grassley and Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow. Foreign ownership of American farmland went from 1 percent in 2000 to 2.9 percent in 2020, a 290 percent
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A Bipartisan Effort to Protect America’s Farms

October 11, 2022 | Lars Schönander

This piece was originally published in The Hill. The 117th Congress will be remembered as a polarized time, but a recent bipartisan effort to protect U.S. agriculture from foreign investments offers a reminder of the potential for cooperation across the aisle. Recent months have seen prominent Republicans and Democrats alike recognize the importance of knowing what
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Why Conservatism Failed

October 7, 2022 | Jon Askonas

This piece was originally published in Compact. Since the rise of the modern conservative movement, its adherents have championed a Burkean respect for the hard-won wisdom of the organic social order. From William F. Buckley to Roger Scruton, conservative intellectuals have advocated for a defense of tradition under assault from the rationalistic, scientific pretensions of modern
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How Stewart Made Tucker

October 5, 2022 | Jon Askonas

This piece was originally published in the New Atlantis. Jon Stewart has a dream where he walks out onto the brightly lit set of a new TV show. He has worked for years to build this show. It’s the answer to everything wrong with the news media. For decades, Americans were fed a news diet
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A New Approach to Closing the Cyber Workforce Talent Gap

September 27, 2022 | Dan Lips

This piece was originally published in The Hill. National security leaders routinely warn that the United States faces growing cyber threats. Managing risks will require expertise in the public and private sector to improve security. But there are currently more than 700,000 open cybersecurity positions across the country. That includes nearly 39,000 open government jobs.  Federal and
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Keep Politics Out of Money

September 27, 2022 | Robert Bellafiore

This piece was originally published in City Journal. The Currency of Politics: The Political Theory of Money from Aristotle to Keynes, by Stefan Eich (Princeton University Press, 344 pp., $35) Political neutrality has come under attack in recent years. For neutrality’s critics, rules that allegedly exist to protect speech, property, or civil rights actually serve
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Google’s Decision Not to List Truth Social Raises Political Questions

September 13, 2022 | Jonathon Hauenschild

This piece was originally published in Newsweek. Social media platforms are having a tough time. First, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt released a trove of documents strongly suggesting the companies coordinated with the government to suppress information about COVID-19. Then, Google announced it would not list Truth Social in its Play Store due to “insufficient content moderation” practices, particularly those terms prohibiting violent
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Screen Test

September 9, 2022 | Jon Askonas

This piece was originally published in Return. For years, Americans and Europeans have been warned of the growing power and reach of Russian information warfare. From the Brexit referendum to the election of Donald Trump, there was hardly an important election Putin hadn’t hacked. Western experts had warned for years about hybrid warfare, blending disinformation, astroturfed
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China Is Buying the Farm

September 9, 2022 | Lars Schönander

This piece was originally published in The Wall Street Journal. Alarms went off in Washington when the Fufeng Group, a Chinese agricultural company, bought 300 acres of land and set up a milling plant last spring in Grand Forks, N.D. The plant is a 20-minute drive from an Air Force base that, according to North Dakota Sen.
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You Are Already in the Metaverse

September 6, 2022 | Jon Askonas

This piece was originally published in Unherd. The metaverse is going to change everything. And it’s already here. But what the hell is it? In 2021, it seemed that every major technology executive took a stance on the metaverse, a new concept for the internet. Mark Zuckerberg went so far as to change his company’s name
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Can Antitrust Reform Legislation Get to 60 Votes?

August 16, 2022 | Luke Hogg

This piece was originally published in The Hill. With the August recess underway, it is time to take stock of Congress’ remaining agenda. One big item that is still on Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) public to-do list is the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA). After promising a floor vote on the bill earlier this summer, the
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Would You Die for the DAO?

August 5, 2022 | Antonio García Martínez

This piece was originally published on Substack. Alas!Lonely sits the cityOnce great with people!She that was great among nationsIs become like a widow;The princess among statesIs become a thrall. -Lamentations 1:1 Recently, I experienced a social novelty. Anna Gát, founder of a roving social club and literary salon named Interintellect, very graciously invited me to one of
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The Right to Never Be Forgotten

August 1, 2022 | Antonio García Martínez

This piece was originally published on Substack. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. -Luke 12:3 Web 3 is the reverse of web 2 in severals ways, and that ‘flippening’ can be disorienting. Take the
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Ukraine’s Cyber-War Shows Us the Future

July 26, 2022 | Geoff Cain

This piece was originally published on Substack. A 19-year-old computer hacker invited me into his home in Lviv, Ukraine, ready to show off his weaponry: three large monitors from which he coordinated cyber-attacks into Russia’s increasingly closed-off internet. It was March 2022, and he wanted to strike back at Russia’s opening missile salvos. But he
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Cutting It as a Tech Writer

July 22, 2022 | Geoff Cain

This piece was originally published on Substack. Another week, another media blow-up. Yesterday, an editor at The New Yorker, Erin Overbey, accused the magazine of retaliating against her for protesting gender inequalities, when it opened a “performance review” into her work. She claimed her boss, editor-in-chief David Remnick, inserted two errors into her articles during the performance
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On Hostage Diplomacy

July 20, 2022 | Geoff Cain

This piece was originally published on Substack. Hostage-taking has become a feature of diplomacy involving authoritarian governments. Today, President Biden signed an executive order that will allow the United States to sanction people or governments that take Americans hostage, and will set up a warning system for Americans planning a trip. This comes as WNBA
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Congressional Appropriators Focus New Attention on Wasteful Spending

July 20, 2022 | Dan Lips

This piece was originally published in National Review. With interest rates rising, the federal government’s debt problem is about to get much worse. The Congressional Budget Office recently warned that rising interest rates, projected trillion-dollar deficits, and the ballooning national debt will cause federal spending on debt payments to “increase substantially.” The federal government’s interest payments are projected to
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Focusing on Enforcement to Hold Big Tech Accountable

July 18, 2022 | Luke Hogg

By Jonathon Hauenschild and Luke Hogg With the August recess approaching and the November elections looming, the window is rapidly closing for the current Congress to enact legislation updating antitrust laws to hold big technology companies accountable. That could be good news for American consumers, since the flagship bill under consideration in the Senate might force
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A Bipartisan Vote for Good Government

July 15, 2022 | Dan Lips

This piece was originally published in The Hill. On Tuesday, Congress proved that lawmakers can still work together on passing good government reforms when the House of Representatives passed the Improving Government for America’s Taxpayers Act. The vote shows growing bipartisan support for addressing the nation’s fiscal challenges by using nonpartisan oversight to reform government programs.
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The path to principled reform for monopolies

July 12, 2022 | Luke Hogg

Conservatives across the country have grown increasingly distrustful of large online platforms. From content suppression during COVID-19 to the deplatforming of Parler to large-scale data breaches, high-profile incidents have led many on the center-right to question Big Tech’s influence over our lives. With Republicans poised to gain seats in Congress in November, lawmakers should be looking ahead to the 118th
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Don’t Trust TikTok’s Plan to Secure Americans’ Data

July 5, 2022 | Dan Lips

By Zach Graves and Dan Lips TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media apps, with more than 80 million U.S.-based active users, including an astounding 70 percent of all American teenagers. Through its rise in popularity, the app has been plagued by a series of security and privacy concerns related to its parent company, ByteDance, and its
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Japan’s Lessons for America

June 22, 2022 | Lars Schönander

This piece was originally posted on Substack. After a decades-long hiatus, industrial policy is back in vogue. The Biden administration will invoke a law passed in 1950, the Defense Production Act, originally designed to build America after World War II, to raise production of everything from solar panels to baby formula. Industrial policy could address the shortages that
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Republicans should wait to regulate Big Tech

June 21, 2022 | Luke Hogg

A coalition of lawmakers and advocacy groups is making its final push to pass antitrust legislation targeted at large tech platforms before the end of the year. But in the rush to rein in Big Tech, many conservatives have signed on to a bill that would do little to address their underlying concerns. Rather than
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Ukraine versus Afghanistan: Lessons in National Solidarity

June 2, 2022 | Geoff Cain

Before he was actually president, Volodymyr Zelen­sky, a comedian, starred as Ukraine’s fictional president in his three-season political satire Servant of the People. He played a junior high teacher who asked his students to leave the classroom one day so he could have a word with a school administrator. In private, he launched a tirade against
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